Cass McCombs – “The Great Pixley Train Robbery”

We are only a few weeks away from the release of Tip Of The Sphere, the new album from great American songwriter Cass McCombs. It’s McCombs’ first proper solo album in three years — a pretty long time for a usually-prolific artist — and it finds McCombs venturing out into different sounds and ideas. We’ve already heard the early songs “Sleeping Volcanoes” and “Estrella.” And today, McCombs has shared another new one called “The Great Pixley Train Robbery.”

The Pixley Train Robbery was a real event. In 1889, a team of experienced robbers put on masks, boarded a train in the Northern California town of Pixley and forced the train to stop. They made off with about a few thousand dollars and escaped on horseback. In the song, McCombs tells the story of the robbery, in his characteristically elliptical style, McCombs sings about bombs, killings, and an escape to sea. McCombs based the story on an old newspaper story that he found.

Musically, “The Great Pixley Train Robbery” is a more rollicking affair than we’re used to hearing from McCombs. And it’s cool hearing him turn his musical and linguistic gifts elsewhere, singing about a different time rather than turning his focus inward. Check it out below.

Tip Of The Sphere is out 2/8 on Anti-. Pre-order it here.

Tags: Cass McCombs